Day Without Art 2017

Compiled by Angie Chandler and Armando Bellmas

World AIDS Day happens each year on December first. The day was founded in 1988 as an opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

The following year, a group of curators, art writers, and art professionals—coming together under the name Visual AIDS—organized the first Day Without Art on World AIDS Day. Hundreds of arts organizations throughout the U.S. shrouded their artworks and replaced them with information about HIV and safer sex, locked their doors or dimmed their lights, and produced exhibitions, programs, readings, memorials, rituals, and performances.

McColl Center for Art + Innovation observes World AIDS Day and Day Without Art, in part, by closing to the public on Friday, December 1, 2017.

McColl Center staff and artists-in-residence will use this day to learn more about HIV/AIDS prevention, care, education, and the intersection of art and activism. You can, too. Listed below are links to HIV/AIDS art and history, along with resources about HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and education in Charlotte and beyond.

Prevention, Care, and Education in the Carolinas

HIV/AIDS service organizations and agencies throughout the Carolinas [QNotes]

Free HIV testing locations in the Carolinas [QNotes]

RAIN provides prevention education and awareness about HIV and related psychosocial issues of living with HIV/AIDS to faith and community groups, young people and clergy.

The Red Pump Project is a national nonprofit organization, with a chapter in Charlotte, whose mission is to educate women and girls of color about HIV.

HIV Education, Outreach and Referrals at the Mecklenburg County Health Department.

Art by McColl Center alumni artists-in-residence

Jessica Whitbread, alumna artist-in-residence (2014)


Jessica Whitbread and Morgan M Page/Odofemi, from Space Date "Picnic", 2012. Courtesy of the artist. Photography by Tania Anderson.

Steed Taylor, alumnus artist-in-residence (2007)


Steed Taylor, Columbus Survivor's Knot (Road Tattoo), 2004. Courtesy of the artist.

Art Around Charlotte

David Wojnarowicz at the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College


David Wojnarowicz, Untitled (Sometimes I come to hate people…), 1992, Red silkscreened text across silver gelatin print, 38 1/4 x 26 in., Edition 4/4, Private Collection Courtesy of P.P.O.W. and the Estate of David Wojnarowicz, New York. Courtesy of Van Every/Smith Galleries.

This powerful artwork by David Wojnarowicz was part of the exhibition Seeing|Saying: Images and Words at the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College in the fall of 2016. Wojnarowicz was diagnosed with AIDS in the late 1980s and was a prominent artist and activist in the New York City art world during that decade. This work was created by the artist shortly before his death from complications from AIDS in 1992, at the age of 37.

HIV/AIDS in Art History


ACT-UP, The AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, Silence=Death, 1987. Colour lithograph. Courtesy of ACT UP.

Silence=Death via ACT UP NY


Gran Fury, Kissing Dosen't Kill: Greed and Indifference Do, 1989, New York City Buses. Photo © 1989 Aldo Hernandez. Courtesy of Creative Time.

Gran Fury Collection at New York Public Library

“AIDS, Art and Activism: Remembering Gran Fury” [Hyperallergic]

“Is Art Enough? Gran Fury in Perspective” [Hyperallergic]


General Idea, AIDS (from General Idea’s Imagevirus project, 1987-1994), 1987. Serigraph on paper. Courtesy of Mitchell-Innes & Nash.

"How General Idea Got Specific to Confront the AIDS Crisis" [Hyperallergic]

"Silence=Death: The History" [Leslie-Lohman Museum]

Documentaries

ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS (2017)

How to Survive a Plague (2012)

Fight Back, Fight AIDS: 15 Years of ACT UP (2002)